Brendan Vacations provides travelers with an experience of Europe that goes above and beyond, delivering a delightfully “beyond the expected” journey. In the final installment of Brendan’s four-part series, “Beyond the Expected: New Discoveries with Gems of Northeastern Europe,” Brendan’s fascinating and i nformative Guided Vacation “The Best of Russia, the Baltics & Warsaw” is the featured gem.
According to Nico Zenner, President of Brendan Vacations, “This extraordinary part of the world is home to some of the greatest historical and architectural treasures in the world. From UNESCO World Heritage sights such as Red Square to the famous Hermitage Museum to Castles and Cathedrals, this awe-inspiring vacation will be one you will never forget. Brendan Vacations has the experience and the connections in this part of the world to deliver a truly ‘beyond the expected’ journey.”
Moscow, one of the largest cities in the world, is the symbolic heart and soul of the country. Your sightseeing includes views of Red Square, the Kremlin and the Armory Museum.
Located on the beautiful banks of the Volga between Moscow and St. Petersburg, Tver is home to the Travel Palace of the Empress (designed by the celebrated Matvei Kazakov), and the Ascension church (designed by Prince Lvov and consecrated in 1813).
Novgorod is a favorite destination in Russia. A small, but very ancient town located between Moscow and St. Petersburg, Novgorod is an excellent way to get a taste of Russia as it used to be hundreds of years ago. Walk around the beautiful, calm ancient town with its beautiful old churches and monasteries.
In St. Petersburg, visit the Peter and Paul Fortress and St. Isaac’s Cathedral and see the cathedral with the crypt of the Russian Emperors. Spread over 100 islands linked by over 600 bridges, it is often referred to as “Venice of the North.” Known as Leningrad during the time of the former Soviet Union, St. Petersburg is closely associated with the October Revolution. Its architectural heritage reconciles the very different Baroque and pure neoclassical styles, as can be seen in the Admiralty, the Winter Palace, the Marble Palace and the Hermitage, which houses treasures from the Czarist era.
The Western Coast of the former Soviet Union – the beautiful and culturally diverse countries that make up the Baltic States: Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are part of your journey. Having gained their independence in 1991, these are now some of the more prosperous regions of the former Communist states.
Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, is one of Europe’s most captivating cities. The Historic Centre, or Old Town, is considered a medieval jewel of Estonia, and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The origins of Tallinn date back to the 13th century, when a castle was built there by the crusading knights of the Teutonic Order. On a walking tour of Tallinn, visit Russian Orthodox Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and Toompea Castle. From there travel to Riga.
Riga, the remarkable capital of Latvia, is famous for both its medieval architecture and extravagant collection of Art Nouveau buildings – regarded as some of the finest in Europe. The marvelous Riga Cathedral – the largest place of worship in the Baltics – has one of the largest organs in Europe (6,768 pipes) and is so impressive that Franz Liszt composed a piece for its dedication in 1884.
Vilnius, the beautiful capital of Lithuania, is filled with narrow cobblestone streets, Baroque churches, interesting museums, beautiful parks, and outdoor markets. Explore Old Town, declared a UNESCO World Heritage site, and be fascinated by its eclectic jumble of Baroque, Gothic, Renaissance and classical architecture. Visit Peter and Paul Church and St. Anna’s Church, Gediminas’ Tower and Vilnius Castle.
Warsaw is the capital of Poland and is quite understandably known as the “phoenix city” because it has survived so much turmoil and war throughout its history. Most notably, the city had to be painstakingly rebuilt after the extensive damage it suffered from World War II, during which 80% of its buildings were destroyed. Sightseeing in this historic city includes views of Castle Square, Lazienki Park and Palace, the Palace of Science and Culture (known as the “wedding cake”) and more.
Brendan Vacations, a leader in independent and guided vacations, offers unsurpassed sightseeing and plenty of leisure time to explore these historic and unique destinations.
For more information, visit www.BrendanVacations.com.